Swapping Screen Time for Green Time

Skimming stones, leaf races down the river. Mud squelching through little toes, squinty eyes, peering into the shallows looking for yabbies. Pocket magnifying glasses whipped out, discovering treasures hidden under stone and bark. It’s the stuff childhood dreams are made of, right? 

Yet how many of us wistfully recall those carefree days of our own childhood and despair that our kids today are just not getting enough of that?  

Kids are kids, across cultural, geographical, and generational divides. They are curious, inquisitive, quick learners and brimming with potential. However, there is one thing that sets this generation of young people apart from any other: They are digital natives. They have never known a time without access to digital technology. Smartphones, tablets, computers, the latest in gaming technology – you name it, they’re across it all and they’ve never lived without it. Even on road trips, many have swapped books and ‘eye-spy’ games out the window for movies and games on iPads or car DVD players. 

Throw in the last two years of Covid lockdowns, isolation and home learning – much of which was done on Zoom meetings and online classrooms – and it’s a veritable ‘hot mess’ on the screen time front. Scores of parents and caregivers who themselves are time-poor and overstretched, feel frustrated and helpless to curb the increasing amounts of time on devices and the potentially addictive habits that come with it. 

The reality is we are all spending an increasing amount of time indoors and only a fraction of our day outdoors. Our ‘Nature Deficit Syndrome’ is at an all-time high. 

It may be time to swap the screen time for some ‘green time’ – get off grid for a few days and reset. 

Thankfully, that doesn’t require you booking an overseas trip and hoping your luggage turns up before your holiday is over (that’s a real place right now!). 

Sugarloaf and River Cottage are just two of the Tiny Homes in Joadja, just one and a half hours from Sydney and 30 minutes from Bowral in the picturesque Southern Highlands of NSW. These Eco aware homes, a stone’s throw from the Wingecarribee River, are perfect for families who just need to get away for a few days and reconnect with each other and nature without the constant pull of screens and technology. Bushwalks, foraging, toasting marshmallows around the firepit and naming the constellations in the night sky, might be just what the doctor ordered. 

There are numerous health and well-being studies that attest to ‘Green time’ of at least 120 minutes per week, having huge benefits for both children and adults. In fact, a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo suggests that it’s much more beneficial than originally thought and discovered 227 links to nonmaterial ‘pathways’ that benefit wellbeing, described as intangible contributions by nature.1 

Time spent in nature enhances creativity, lowers stress and anxiety, improves attentiveness and mental acuity, improves sleep, reduces respiratory illnesses, promotes social connectedness, builds empathy, and the list goes on. Plus, it’s a real-world learning experience that is open to everyone.  

With extended time outdoors, children emerge exhilarated and energised. Faces flushed and eyes shining, they are the kings and queens of finding awe and wonder in anything when out exploring in nature. They may need a nudge or two to swap their screen time for green time and get out and find it.  

The best thing is you don’t have to go far. Book your stay today at Tiny Homes Joadja.


Jess – January 2022

If you are looking for an escape, to switch off from the business of the world, this is the perfect place. Wilson's Rest is situated perfectly at the top of a small hill. Your view is of tall mountain ranges, quiet flowing rivers and in the morning you’re greeted by birds and their endless sweet melodies.

Leah – February 2022

What a wonderful location. We stayed at Wilson's Rest and explored the property finding many interesting things, including wombat holes, birds, kangaroos and what a beautiful river. There are so many spots to relax and take it all in.

Lauren – February 2022

The Rapids is wonderful! The location you can’t fault, having the best view of the river making it perfect for swimming and exploring. Fire pit, rapids, sunset and all you need very comfortably. Amazing and highly recommend.

Shea - December 2021

The perfect spot for a relaxing few days away. The house itself is beautiful – the amount of natural light let in is amazing and made us feel very close to nature. Being able to hear the river from bed was also a plus! Would recommend to anyone. 10/10!

Adam – November 2021

Our Tiny House was a delight. You are so close to the water in all of these tiny homes. It's right there! You can hear the birds singing and the water flowing when you leave the screens open. It's like everything you want when you camp without having to camp.

Neda – January 2022

The most serene holiday house we've ever stayed in! The location is incredible right by the river. It was quite incredible to hear the sound from all parts of the house. The house is really clean, much more spacious than in photos and really beautiful decorated.

Monica – January 2021

River Cottage far exceeded our expectations, the photos don't do it justice! The most tranquil setting – it is so quiet at night with a clear view of the moon, it really is picture perfect. Bring a picnic blanket to watch the stars at night, we spotted a lot of shooting stars.

Angela – January 2022

We loved our stay at Elevation, it was perfect. Tranquil. Clean and cosy. Beautiful river and mountain views and nature at its finest.